Recipe of the week
An everyday dish that never gets old
Every time we prepare a tray of this chicken for one of our London restaurants, we’re always hopeful that there’ll be leftovers when our shift ends, said Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich in Honey & Co.: At Home (Pavilion). “It doesn’t often happen,” but when it does, we can for once take our work home with us happily rather than guiltily, and truly savor the fruits of our labor.
The dish is “incredibly simple to cook—just a mix-and-bake number.” But you’re unlikely to grow tired of it. If your markets are like ours, they offer a broad variety of plums across each growing season, and “you can cook this dish as often as you like between mid-August and the end of October with a different variety every time.” Greengages, damsons, mirabelles—“the results will be slightly different but always delicious.” The plums bake beautifully: “The cooking heightens their subtle taste and turns them into a sweet, sour, and savory chutney.”
Chicken in plums and sweet sauce
6 to 8 skin-on chicken thighs (depending on size)
For the marinade:
2 plums (about 3 oz total), stones removed
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tbsp demerara sugar or near substitute
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
For the roasting tray:
6 to 8 plums (about 8½ oz total), quartered, stones removed
2 to 3 celery sticks, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp demerara sugar
A few sprigs of tarragon, to garnish
Make the marinade by combining the nine marinade ingredients in a food processor and blitzing everything together until you have a smooth purée. Pour over the chicken thighs and mix well, making sure pieces are evenly coated. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate: A couple of hours will do the trick, but you can leave the chicken for up to 24 hours.
Heat oven to 425. Place half the plum quarters plus the celery, onion, and garlic in a large roasting tray. Top with chicken thighs, skin-side up, and pour any remaining marinade over chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove tray and baste everything well with the juices that have formed at the bottom.
Reduce oven temperature to 400 and return chicken to oven for another 10 minutes.
Add remaining plum quarters. Sprinkle with sugar and roast for a final 10 minutes. Remove from oven, baste again, and garnish with a few tarragon sprigs. Serves 3 to 4. ■